Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Taste of Summer (Barbecue Chicken Salad)

Yesterday was a beautiful day! The sunshine, singing birds, blooming flowers and warm temperature allowed me to finally put away thoughts of winter and look ahead to the warm season approaching. In fact, I got so caught up in the feeling, I donned my summer skirt and tank top and set to work making the switch in my closet. I brought down all my summer clothes from the box upstairs and happily bagged up the sweaters and heavy coats I have grown tired of wearing. How delightful it is to put away heavy material and dark colors and exchange them for light cottons, bright colors and floral prints!
Waffles were on the menu for dinner, but with the sun streaming in the window and the hour or so spent sunbathing on my porch, I simply couldn't bring myself to fix something so heavy. So, switching with a different day, I prepared a fairly new recipe find, "Amy's Barbecue Chicken Salad" (another one from the cookbook!). It is fresh and light and full of flavor!
Since we don't have a barbecue yet, the last time I made this salad, I grilled the chicken on my George Foreman grill.

This time, however, I pan fried it. I'm sure it would be very tasty right off the grill, and I hope to try it that way one of these days! The recipe doesn't call for any seasoning on the chicken, but I sprinkled mine with a Barbecue seasoning from my Grandpa's company's line of seasonings: Dean's Natural Grill. Yum!
While the chicken was cooking, I washed a head of green leaf lettuce and chopped it and also a bunch of cilantro.

The recipe calls for a head of green leaf lettuce and a head of red leaf lettuce, but I leave the red out since Travis and I are only 2 people! The original recipe serves 8 as a side (Probably about 6 as a main dish). I forgot the tomato this time, so I went without, but I wish I had had one on hand! I also opened a can of corn and a can of black beans. I mixed all this together in a big salad bowl then added the chopped chicken. You could also serve the chicken on top of the salad in slices, if you like. I like mine mixed in.

Now for what goes on top! Instead of putting French fried onions on the whole salad, I sprinkle them on our individual servings, because if there are any leftovers, the onions get soggy. Then I mix together the dressing, a half and half combination of ranch and barbecue sauce.

I always use Hidden Valley Ranch and "Sweet Baby Ray's" barbecue sauce because of course, "the sauce is the boss!" :) We also save the dressing for our individual servings, for the same reason I mentioned before. For just the two of us, I halve the dressing recipe as well (the original makes 1 cup of dressing which is just too much for only one head of lettuce!).
This is a meal in itself, so you can serve it alone, or with some warm rolls or fresh fruit. It is a fresh, crispy taste of summer!

Amy's Barbecue Chicken Salad
(printable version)
by "Amyeh" on
serves 8 as a side, 4 to 6 as a main dish

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 head red leaf lettuce, rinsed and torn
1 head green leaf lettuce, rinsed and torn
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 2.8 oz. can French fried onions
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup barbecue sauce

Preheat grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken on the grill and cook 6 min. per side, or until juices run clear. (You can also bake, fry or indoor grill the chicken- you decide!) Remove from heat, cool and slice (or chop!).
In a large bowl, mix the lettuces, tomato, cilantro, corn and black beans. Top with chicken and French fried onions.
In a small bowl, mix dressing and sauce. Serve on the side as a dipping sauce or toss with the salad to coat.


  1. I love salads! I should honestly try making one for dinner one night :)

  2. I know they are so refreshing and light!

  3. This looks so yummy! I cant wait to try it


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